A rare tumor of the Trigeminal area successfully removed in a 42-year old Assamese

A rare tumor of the trigeminal area successfully removed in a 42 year old Assamese

With over 50 million cases per year, in the United States alone, headaches top the list of the most common afflictions in humans.  More than 70% of headache sufferers never consult a doctor because they assume that little can be done to help them and all they need is a painkiller for some temporary relief.

Although it might seem, rare headaches can be caused by serious disorders, such as brain tumors or meningitis.  That’s why you should never ignore chronic headaches and hope they’ll go away on their own.  If any of the following symptoms occur, it is important to consult a neurologist/neurosurgeon as soon as possible.

  • Persistent headaches that progressively worsen over days or weeks
  • Headaches that start suddenly (especially important if you’ve never had them before and you’re over 50 years of age)
  • Headache followed by sudden facial numbness and difficulty in chewing.
  • Headaches that come on suddenly after coughing, straining, or exertion

Headaches associated with

  • Changes in vision (or other senses), double vision, increased weakness, or loss of sensation
  • Confusion or changes in memory, personality, or behavior
  • Persistent or severe vomiting
  • General weakness or numbness or slurred speech
  • A stiff neck with a fever or a rash, or a seizure
  • An unexplained fever or breathing problems (i.e. shortness of breath), which accompany the headache
  • A sudden or dramatic change in the severity of your headaches
  • Headache after a head injury or accident, or after a sore throat or respiratory infection
  • A constant headache with no relief
  • Experiencing three or more headaches a week
  • Use of a pain reliever every day or almost daily to relieve your headache symptoms
  • If you get a very sudden and excruciating headache unlike any you’ve ever had.

One such headache that was ignored thankfully not for too long brought Mr. Lokendra Das from the land of the mighty Brahmaputra to South India’s Medical hub, Chennai. Lokendra Das, 42 a home guard at the Government of Assam, was suffering with headache for over a 1 year, like most he assumed it to be a regular headache and treated it with over the counter painkillers which gave him temporary relief. It was not too long that his pain had aggravated with numbness and severe pain in his left cheek area, along with swelling. Following which he visited a local hospital, where a scan was taken which revealed a tumor and he was told that his only option was to go in for a surgery. He was told by the doctors there that he would get the best medical care at a reasonable cost in Chennai. Convinced about the same he and his son embarked on their journey to Chennai with much hope and anxiety. After arriving at Chennai and a thorough enquiry they concluded that Fortis Malar Hospital was the best they had. On arriving at Fortis Malar, Chennai he entrusted himself in the efficient hands of Dr. Soundappan, Nuero surgeon. By this time his vision was affected and was unable to eat and had difficulty in walking due to lack of balance. A few more weeks or months he might have lost function of his left side (left hemiplegic) which would have been extremely detrimental to his work. On examining the CT a tumor of size 6cm x 4.5cm was found to be arising from the base of the skull (Trigeminal Schwannoma) and required a novel skull based approached. Trigeminal schwannomas are uncommon tumors of Schwann cell origin and are far less common. The insidious onset and slow progression of symptoms mostly are a reason for delay in the recognition of trigeminal schwannomas.

“Its incidence is confined to 0.2 to 0.4% of all the brain tumors. Trigeminal tumor is classified by headache along with facial pain, disturbing sensation in the face and difficulty in chewing food due to the nerve being affected by the tumor’s position. And the only treatment option is surgery.” said Dr. Soundappan, Sr. Consultant Neuro Surgeon Fortis Malar Hospital.

Mr. Lokendra Das was successfully operated on 26th April and the tumor was removed.

“My journey has been nothing less than life altering. I was suffering with severe pain and was unable to see properly. 15 days post surgery and I am back on my foot, I had never would imagined that my headache could be something so serious nevertheless I am so glad it is all over now and I am relieved of all my difficulties.  Now, I am happy to spend long hours playing with my son, minus the worrying headaches.” – Mr. Lokendra Das